Intense fighting as Ukrainian forces launch major assault against Russian positions – Newstrends
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Intense fighting as Ukrainian forces launch major assault against Russian positions

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Intense fighting as Ukrainian forces launch major assault against Russian positions

A substantial Ukrainian force was pushing an assault against Russian positions in the south on Thursday, in an intensification of fighting that some Ukrainian officials and western analysts said marked the start in earnest of Kyiv’s much-vaunted counteroffensive.

The combat against Russian positions south of Zaporizhzhia included western-supplied tanks and armoured vehicles and infantry backed by artillery. There were reports of intense fighting outside of the town of Tokmak, a key Russian logistical hub.

Asked about US media reports that the counteroffensive had begun, a spokesman for Ukraine’s general staff said: “We have no such information. And we do not comment on anonymous sources.”

Ukrainian officials, however, have insisted that they would not make an official announcement when the counteroffensive begins and have cautioned against focusing on a single area, suggesting it could involve a number of components.

The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based thinktank that has been producing daily updates on the war, said it had concluded on Thursday that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had begun.

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“Activity throughout Ukraine is consistent with a variety of indicators that Ukrainian counteroffensive operations are under way across the theater,” the group tweeted.

Following days of heavy shelling of Russian defences, Ukrainian units were reported to have stepped up efforts to break thorough in the Orihiv-Tokmak sector, which blocks the route to the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol – a key objective for Kyiv.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that German-made Leopard tanks and US Bradleys had been thrown into the battle along with scores of other armoured vehicles.

The Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said Ukrainian forces from Ukraine’s 47th mechanised brigade, with up to 1,500 troops and 150 armoured vehicles, made “an attempt to break through” but Russian forces dealt the attack “a preventive blow”, although Russian military bloggers painted a far more nuanced picture.

Images posted by the Russian military blogger Rybar purported to show Ukrainian armour immobilised during the assault although neither those claims nor those of Shoigu could be verified.

Intense fighting as Ukrainian forces launch major assault against Russian positions

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I was supposed to be dead now, God saved me – Trump

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I was supposed to be dead now, God saved me – Trump

Former US President Donald Trump has said he is “supposed to be dead” after Saturday night’s assassination attempt at a rally in Pennsylvania.

In one of his first interviews since the incident, Mr Trump told conservative US media he felt that he had been saved “by luck or by God”.

“The most incredible thing was that I happened to not only turn [my head] but to turn at the exact right time and in just the right amount,” he said, adding that the bullet that grazed his ear could have easily killed him.

“I’m supposed to be dead, I’m not supposed to be here,” he said.

A spectator was killed in the attack, while two other people were seriously injured. The gunman, who also died, has been named as Thomas Matthew Crooks.

Mr Trump described the moment he looked up at the crowd after realising he had been shot.

“The energy coming from the people there in that moment, they just stood there. It’s hard to describe what that felt like, but I knew the world was looking.

“I knew that history would judge this, and I knew I had to let them know we are OK,” he told the Washington Examiner.

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Speaking as he prepared to board a flight to the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he is expected to be confirmed as the party’s candidate for president, Mr Trump said he now had a “chance to bring the country together”.

He said his speech would now be completely different instead of the “humdinger” aimed mostly at current President Joe Biden’s policies he had previously planned.

“Had [Saturday’s attack] not happened, this would’ve been one of the most incredible speeches.

“Honestly, it’s going to be a whole different speech now. It is a chance to bring the country together.”

Earlier, Mr Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social that he had intended to delay his trip to Wisconsin by two days.

But he added that he was sticking to his original schedule as: “I cannot allow a ‘shooter,’ or potential assassin, to force change to scheduling”.

Mr Trump said that the assassination attempt “has had an impact” on him.

Little is known about the motivation of Crooks, the 20-year-old would-be assassin who was shot dead by the Secret Service at the scene.

The FBI has said that while its investigation suggests Crooks acted alone, it would continue to look into whether the kitchen worker had received help.

The spectator who was killed in Saturday’s attack has been named as Corey Comperatore, a 50-year-old volunteer fire chief who died trying to protect his family.

In a televised address following the attack, President Biden called for the “temperature of politics” to be lowered.

“We cannot, must not, go down this road again. We’ve travelled it before in our history,” said Mr Biden, listing off a growing number of violent political acts that had taken place in the US in recent years.

“In America we resolve our differences at the ballot box,” he added. “At the ballot box. Not with bullets.”

I was supposed to be dead now, God saved me – Trump

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Assassination attempt: Trump leaves hospital after death scare

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump

Assassination attempt: Trump leaves hospital after death scare

United States Republican Party presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has left the hospital after a close shave with death on Saturday.

Trump was injured and escaped death by a whisker after a gunman opened fire on him during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

The former president was rushed off stage after what the FBI has now confirmed as an assassination attempt.

He left the hospital Sunday morning shortly after receiving treatment.

Trump has described in a post to his Truth Social network how a bullet from the assassin pierced the upper part of his right ear.

He was lucky to have survived after the shooting reportedly killed one bystander and injured two others.

The gunman has been shot dead by Secret Service agents, and at a news conference, the FBI said they were waiting for DNA results to come in before giving his name.

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A report has described the gunman as a 20-year-old man.

Already, President Joe Biden has condemned the attack, saying, “There’s no place in America for this kind of violence”.

Biden is said to have also spoken directly to Trump.

The attack on Donald Trump at his campaign rally is widely seen as a departure from the norm in the political history of the United States.

US House Speaker, Mike Johnson has said there will be an investigation of the incident.

“The American people deserve to know the truth. We will have Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle and other appropriate officials from DHS and the FBI appear for a hearing before our committees ASAP,” he said in a post on X.

At a news conference, the FBI field officer, Kevin Rojek confirmed that the incident was being treated as an assassination attempt.

“This evening we had what we’re calling an assassination attempt on our former president Donald J Trump,” he said at the conference in the evening of Saturday not long after the shooting.

“It’s still an active crime scene,” he added, pointing out that they had a number of agents on the scene investigating the incident.

During the news conference, the FBI confirmed it was not known that there was a person on the roof of a building near Donald Trump’s rally ground until shots were fired.

This was after a witness spoke of seeing the man lurking on the said roof.

Assassination attempt: Trump leaves hospital after death scare

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Biden condemns shooting at Trump’s rally, says no place for violence

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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. | Evan Vucci, Associated Press

Biden condemns shooting at Trump’s rally, says no place for violence

President Joe Biden has condemned the violence that erupted at a rally for his major opponent in the upcoming November election, Donald Trump, in Pennsylvania.

Reports indicate that an unidentified individual opened fire at the rally while Trump was on stage. The former president took cover as Secret Service agents rushed to his aid, escorting him off the stage with blood visible on the side of his head and his ear.

Trump was just six minutes into his speech when the popping sounds of gunfire rang out over the rally. He reached for the side of his face and crouched down as Secret Service agents surrounded him and quickly escorted him into a vehicle.

A Secret Service spokesperson stated to X that “the former President is safe.” The spokesperson, Anthony Guglielmi, added, “This is now an active Secret Service investigation, and further information will be released when available.”

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Trump’s spokesperson, Steven Cheung, expressed gratitude for the quick response of law enforcement and first responders during the incident.

President Biden expressed relief that Trump was safe and called for unity against violence in a brief statement. “I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania. I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well. I’m praying for him and his family and all those who were at the rally as we await further information. Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety. There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.”

Biden condemns shooting at Trump’s rally, says no place for violence

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